Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]

Re: Trail Loss Auburn-Cool area N.CA

The Marin Municipal Water District (about 20,000 acres with five
reservoirs) allows horses on almost half of its single-track trails and
all of its wider fire roads.  No drinking from, or going into reservoirs,
but trails right around the perimeter of the lakes are OK.   Canter only
where sight lines permit; there is a "speed limit" on the dirt fire roads
of 15 mph, or the pace of a good canter.    $7.00 trailer parking fee,
but no fee if you just ride in.   No night riding.   The equestrians have
donated water troughs that have been put around at various springs and
locations.   Groups of up to 20 horses are allowed; over 20 you must
split the group.   Hitching rails are placed here and there along the
    The MMWD  tests its water  rigorously and several-times-daily, and a
detailed, annual water quality report is mailed to every ratepayer in the
county.   Our water quality consistently excels above minimum/maximum
state and federal mandates and tastes darn good too.  There is no
incidence of e coli nor of cryptosporidium  in our treated drinking
water.  MMWD attitude is that horses DO NOT PRESENT ANY PUBLIC HEALTH
HAZARD TO THE DRINKING WATER and we are treated accordingly.    (A  wry
situation exists in that asbestos, in the form of chrysotile, occurs
naturally in the serpentine rocks abounding in Marin County, and of
course must be filtered out of the water!)
   The question arising now is access across a certain creek  (a salmon
and trout spawning creek) over the winter months (Dec. thru April).  
This is not regarded as a problem and we can all work around this while
allowing  the redds and young  fry to develop undisturbed.  Actually,
these months are the high (and fast) water flows in the creek and most
horsemen know better than to put their horses through this sort of
hazardous sitution.
    In 1980-1981, the hikers did their best to boot horses off the narrow
trails but failed, largely because horses do not, and did not, present
safety hazards to other trail users, do not impact the district lands to
any marked degree.   Since then the hikers and horsemen are united in
their opposition to allowing mt. bikers on the narrow (and I mean 18" -
24") trails, which are curvey with little sight-lines and mostly with
steep side-slopes and sometimes heavily forested.  This type of trail is
inappropriate for multi-use but works OK with dual use.  It is worth
noting that in Marin County the county, water district, and federal
agencies are united on allowing multi-use on wide fire roads (vehicular
width) but restricting them from the narrow paths.   There are literally
hundreds of miles of fire roads in public usage in Marin.   The issues
are preservation of the resource, safety of other users and the quality
of the experience.  Marin has over 2/3 of its acreage in public domain,
with interconnecting trails for everyone.   We think we have the finest
trail system in the USA, and that doesn't even count riding the beaches
at Pt. Reyes National Seashore!    Regards,  Connie Berto

Get free e-mail you don't need Web access to use --
Or get full, reliable Internet access from Juno Web!
Download your free software today:

Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,    
Information, Policy, Disclaimer:   

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC